Ransomware attacks are a significant threat to enterprises. In 2019 alone, there have been 22 known attacks in the public sector. Most recently, the Government of Baltimore and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were affected by such attacks. Ransomware is an epidemic that many organizations are suffering from, but how can you protect your data? Matt Tyrer, a data protection evangelist at backup, recovery, archive, and cloud solutions provider, Commvault, was able to provide commentary on the best ways to fight against ransomware.
“Ransomware attacks in the public sector, like the one on Cleveland Hopkins Airport, continue to act as a wakeup call for organizations to take this as a serious threat, and not just another cybersecurity technology challenge. These businesses must evaluate ransomware threat readiness – and many are disturbingly unprepared. Threat readiness goes beyond simply having security solutions in place to keep ransomware out. If an attack gets through your defenses you must have threat detection techniques applied to your data environment to indicate anomalies and highlight proper recover points to escape the ransomware threat.
Business leaders must demand a comprehensive data management strategy that ties the fastest data recovery options together with smart data threat detection techniques so that organizations can properly mitigate ransomware threats and assure business recovery. To do this you need partners who have proven enterprise experience in this area with the technologies to understand where your critical data is stored and assess the potential of an active ransomware attack. A strong security strategy together with a strong data management strategy and investments in educating employees on ransomware are all essential to mitigating vulnerabilities.” – Matt Tyrer, Commvault
To expand on Tyrer’s thoughts, we have some additional tips to combat ransomware for you below:
When there is the potential for data loss, the importance of having copies of your data cannot be understated. By having multiple backups of your data both offline and off-site, you ensure that your data will remain in your possession, even in the event that a ransomware attack occurs. For additional data protection, encrypt your backups. This way, cybercriminals cannot access your copied data.
Keep Security Features Updated
The security features of business applications often protect organizations from malicious attacks. However, without updating these applications, the security features will not be operating optimally, therefore opening your organization up to attacks. By updating your business applications regularly, your business will be best equipped for comprehensive ransomware protection.
Monitor Your Backup Process
By having an acute awareness of your backup process, you’ll be able to detect warning signs of ransomware attacks. In monitoring your backup log, you will have the ability to observe indications that a data encryption program is present. For example, any incremental backups will be unusable as files are changed, and files that are encrypted will be unable to be deduplicated or compressed. This level of dedicated monitoring will allow you to determine what parts of the backup process are standard, and which are indications of a problem. When you can identify an attack early, you can act on it sooner, before much damage is caused.
Be Aware of Your Solution Options
The possibility of preventing the encryption of corporate backups if ransomware can directly access backup images is very slim. Putting in the effort to engineer a system that abstracts the backup data will make it more difficult for ransomware programs to encrypt data in the first place. To do this, you must detach your backups from your primary environment and be sure that the backup process doesn’t take place on a general purpose server and operating system. This tactic makes your backups harder to access and therefore less likely to be attacked.
Ransomware attacks can create problems for a business that can be so serious that they may not recover from them. For that reason, organizations must be prepared for the possibility that they will fall victim to an attack. To ensure a better level of ransomware protection for your backups and your business overall, consider implementing these, and Tyrer’s, strategies.
Looking for more information on backup and disaster recovery solutions? Consider downloading our Backup and Disaster Recovery Buyer’s Guide! This free resource gives you the ability to compare the top 23 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide also offers five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask your software provider before purchasing. It’s the best resource for anyone looking to find the right backup and disaster recovery solution for their organization. Additionally, consider consulting our Disaster Recovery as a Service Buyer’s Guide, as well as our new Data Protection Vendor Map, to assist you in selecting the right solution for your business.
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